I suggest that there be a "Go Green Education" form added to the IES website that all IES students must submit pre-departure during the “Get-Set” process. A few months before students depart the states to join IES Abroad Barcelona for a semester, they have around 10 or so mandatory forms to read online and either print and sent into IES or read and sign electronically. Adding this one form would be very easy. It will include basic information on how IES Barcelona is a sustainability friendly program. It is a short addition to the IES forms but will go a long way in educating students, before leaving the US, about how they can live more sustainably in Barcelona. The form includes brief information about the action pages other students have created mixed with outside information. Furthermore, it will serve as a promotional tool for the Sustainability Club by giving the link to both the club website as well as the Facebook page, if the student is interested in becoming more involved.
This form is intended to both inform students that living sustainably is very important and to show that IES supports a sustainable way of life. It is a way to make sure that every IES Abroad Barcelona student has some background knowledge about sustainability and gives them a little more detail on how to become more involved if they are passionate about this topic. Highlighting the “Go Green Initiative” that IES promotes before the students even arrive in Barcelona will hopefully make students realize how important living sustainably really is and how a little bit goes a long way. The Go Green Education form aims to decrease the ecological and water footprints of IES Abroad Barcelona as whole. If students are well informed about environmental issues that are more prevalent in Europe than the US, they are more likely to be cautious with limited resources.
This action will contribute to reinforcing loop, increasing the environmental awareness of IES students. If a form like this one is mandatory for every student to read, it is more likely that they will become involved in the sustainability club. If they join the club and become more aware/passionate about living sustainably, then the members of the club will have more information to add to this form at the end of every semester. Therefore, the form will be updated and hopefully more effective.
1.2.1. Potential Benefits
Short term benefits:
Ensures that all IES Abroad Barcelona students have some knowledge of the importance of living sustainably before arriving in Spain as well as what actions IES does to promote this way of living. They are also aware where to find more information or how to get more involved.
Long term benefits:
IES Abroad Barcelona gains recognition for being a "sustainability-friendly" program, supporting and encouraging their students to be green during their abroad experience. The Sustainability Club gains popularity and spreads to other IES Abroad locations.
1.2.2. Potential Costs
Money: There are no monetary costs involved in this action because it is an online form and there is no need to pay for postage or paper.
Human Resources: Somebody on IES staff must be in charge of uploading and adding the Go Green Education Form to the IES online forms that already exist. After speaking with administration, they agreed to send the form to IES Chicago to be added to the "Get-Set" pre-departure online forms by representatives at the headquarters.
Time: At the end of every semester, the Secretary of the Sustainability Club will need to take the time to update the Go Green Education form. Furthermore, the representative at IES Abroad Chicago will have to take the time every semester to approve and upload the form online. However, neither of these are very dramatic costs.
Risks: There are no risks involved in this action.
To make the Go Green Information Form, it was necessary to compile all of the actions pages, summarize each of them, and add in outside information about living sustainably. After careful review, I picked a few actions that I believed were likely to be implemented for the Spring 2011 semester in IES Abroad Barcelona. For the Go Green Information Form to be mandatory and made part of the “Get-Set” Program IES enforces, Cesar and IES staff must approve of the form addition. After meeting with Cesar, and getting approval, the form could then be completed. In the future, it is necessary for someone to be able to edit the form because we are unable to know which actions will be implemented and which actions will be kept in effect in semesters to come. Edits can be done by the Secretary of the Sustainability Club toward the end of every semester.
Here is a copy of the go green education form I created:
GO GREEN EDUCATION FORM
Lifestyles in the United States and Spain are very different, especially when it comes to water and electricity use. Both are significantly more expensive in Spain. It is important for American students to change their mindset about the availability and costs of resources (such as water) when living in a country where they are more scarce. This informative sheet includes some suggestions for living more sustainably during your semester abroad in Barcelona.
- Water is a limited resource.
- Leaving the tap running for 2 minutes wastes 3-5 gallons.
- Filling a bathtub uses 60 gallons.
- Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save 4 gallons every minute.
- Filling a bathtub uses 60 gallons- taking showers is a better alternative.
- Keeping showers short and turning off the water while shampooing and conditioning hair can save 50 gallons every week.
- Turn off all lights when not using them.
- Unplug appliances that are not being used.
- Keep heating thermostat on the lowest comfortable temperature.
Garden on the terrace: IES Abroad Barcelona is lucky enough to have a terrace at our center with a garden for students to grow vegetables in a sustainable fashion. You will have the opportunity to tend to the garden as an IES Abroad Barcelona student.
Reusable IES Water Bottles and Grocery Bags: IES will be distributing reusable grocery bags and encourages the purchase of an IES go green water bottle from the IES website.
Electronics Recycling Program: IES has an electronics-recycling program that aids in reducing e-waste by encouraging students to reuse old electronics (such as cell phones, hair dryers, fans, etc.) from previous students as opposed to buying new ones. (This also saves you money!)
Sustainability Club: The Sustainability Club is a way for students to get involved in the “Go Green Initiative” that IES promotes. Members have a commitment to live and encourage others to live in a more sustainable way during their time abroad.
EcoEuros: In IES Abroad Barcelona, we use a currency known as EcoEuros that are given to students after performing actions connected to the Sustainability Club. The EcoEuros may be exchanged for discounts on field trips, for extra reusable grocery bags, and much more.
Interested in joining the sustainability club? Check us out at: http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org
… Or join the Facebook group!
-Box for Student Signature
1.4. References & Links
"Facts About Water Use and Conservation". <http://www.rcgov.org/pdfs/Public-Works/Water/facts_about_water_use.pdf> Visited on December 1, 2010.
PHCC. "Water Conservation Facts." <http://www.phccweb.org/files/PDFs/WaterConservationFacts.pdf> Visited on December 1, 2010.
GreenstudentU. "Conservation." Copyright 2008-2010. <http://www.greenstudentu.com/encyclopedia/energy/conservation> Visited on December 1, 2010.
1.5. Students involved in this action
-Marissa Gonzalez- Leader and main contributor to the Go Green Information Form action.
-Julia Casciotti- Contributed to the potential cost portion of this action page. Also helped edit the Go Green Information Form.
-Katie Dasburg- Helped formulate ideas and organize/edit action page.
Assignment: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)